Bay Journal

Chesapeake Notebook

News, notes and observations from the Bay Journal staff.

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Pennsylvania parks development bill not dead yet

Legislation that would open the door to private development in Pennsylvania parks may get another life, even though it was killed earlier this week.

The Pennsylvania House on Tuesday voted 123-77 to reject a bill that would have allowed development of hotels, golf courses and even amusement rides in the state’s 121 parks.

However, under House procedures, the bill sponsor has up to five days to ask for a revote.

Jeff Day
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Passing health grade still out of reach for Anacostia River

The Anacostia River may no longer be “forgotten,” but it is still extremely degraded, according to a report released Wednesday by the Anacostia Watershed Society.

The Society’s annual report card handed the river that runs through Maryland and the District of Columbia a failing grade for the third year in a row, despite incremental improvements. The river also earned an F letter grade in 2010 but saw enough improvements in the following year to garner a C- in 2011. No report was issued for the interim years.

Whitney Pipkin
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Pa. lawmakers reject bill to open state parks to private development

The Pennsylvania House soundly rejected Tuesday legislation that could have led to state parks with privately developed and run hotels and even amusement parks.

The proposal failed on a 77-123 vote, despite the sponsor offering a significantly watered down version of the bill late Monday.

Several bill opponents, including Rep. Stephen McCarter, a Democrat representing Philadelphia’s northeastern suburbs, cited language in the state constitution requiring the preservation and protection of the state’s natural landscape for future generations.

Jeff Day

Picture This

Tips from veteran Chesapeake Bay photographer Dave Harp about how to capture the perfect images from your outdoor travels.

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Pond paddle provides lovely setting for photos

I always try to get out and make some photos on the solstices and equinoxes,  and an assignment to illustrate a story about Trap Pond allowed me to chase the morning light there a few hours after this year’s Autumnal equinox.   It’s an amazingly beautiful patch of wild Delaware near Laurel and will be featured in the November issue of the Bay Journal.   The pond, created in the 18th century to power a saw mill to convert the trees into board feet of lumber,  is the epicenter of the northern most stand of bald cypress trees in the United States.   The relatively young trees in the middle of the pond were planted in the 1930’s when the water level  was drawn down to allow the trees to grow.    Once they’re heads are above the water they seem to do fine in an aquatic environment.  Be sure to look for a more complete story about Trap Pond State Park by Tom Horton in the November issue of the Bay Journal.

David Harp
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Want to take some really cool photos?

Bundle up and take advantage of the opportunities for great photos provided the the crisp air, and low angle of sunlight, during winter months.

David Harp
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Photographers’ reliable “standby”

While cameras have changed much over the past century, one ingredient of good photos has remained largely the same — the tripod.

David Harp

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